VIDEO: Catalytic converter thieves strike El Dorado, Bastrop
BASTROP, La. (KNOE) - Law enforcement officers are looking for help to find out who stole catalytic converters in El Dorado, Arkansas, and Bastrop, Louisiana, recently.
Both the Union County Sheriff’s Office and the Bastrop Police Department posted a call to action on Tuesday. UCSO said, “Crimestoppers is offering an award leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved in the theft of catalytic converters in El Dorado and Union County. If you have information about who’s committing these thefts and assisting the suspects with the transport and sale of the catalytic converters please contact the El Dorado Police Department at 870-863-4141 or the Union County Sheriff’s Office at 870-864-1990.”
Bastrop PD posted, “The Bastrop Police Department is seeking the public’s help in identifying the subject in these videos. He is responsible for several catalytic converter thefts and will be charged with felonies when identified. If you know who he is please contact the Bastrop Police Department at 318 281-1322 or call North Delta Crime Stoppers at (318) 388-CASH (2274).”
Bastrop PD even released videos showing someone who could be involved. In one video, which you can watch above, the subject is seen walking by some vehicles carrying what appears to be an empty orange bag. Another video shows him walking by later with a large object in the bag.
Catalytic converters are part of your vehicle’s emissions system and removing them is illegal. Thieves steal them for the high-value metal inside and someone out there is contributing to the crime by purchasing the stolen parts from thieves.
Catalytic converter thefts have been a problem all over the country. In fact, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards just signed a bill that makes the “theft of a catalytic converter or engine control module” a specific crime. The law, which goes into effect in August, sets prison time and fines specific to the theft of catalytic converters. The severity of the punishment scales with the damage done to the vehicles in terms of dollar value. Someone convicted of stealing or doing damage valued at $25,000 or more will get 10 to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $50,000. Here are the other thresholds:
- $5,000 = 5-10 years, $10,000 fine
- $1,000 = 2-5 years, $3,000 fine
- Up to $999 = 3-6 months, $1,000 fine
Repeat offenders also get extra jail time and additional fines stacked on top of those penalties for subsequent catalytic converter thefts.
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